Cheatham Dam is located in Cheatham County, Tenn., on the Cumberland River at mile 148.7 about nine miles downstream of Ashland City. It is about 42 miles downstream from Nashville.
Cheatham Dam was authorized by the Rivers and Harbors Act and approved July 24, 1946 by Public Law 525. Inclusion of hydroelectric capability was authorized by Public Law 396 approved June 19, 1952. The dam was dedicated in 1954, and the hydropower plant began producing power in May 1958, reaching full production in 1959.
The navigation lock chamber is 110-feet wide and 800-feet long and has a 26-foot lift. The dam has a concrete gravity type spillway, is 495-feet across with seven tainter gates, and the power plant is 306-feet long and contains three hydropower units rated at 12.000 Kilowatts each.